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Susan and a question About Close Girlfriends

Hi, All.

Now, I do seem to remember amongst one of her quotes that Susan did NOT have many close girlfriends? On the other hand, there seems to me that she WAS friends to, even if not 'bosom' buddies, those she worked with on the Production side, who she felt more relaxed with.

I've also read of the many outstanding kindnesses she showed to those who knew her as she really was----like the cancer-stricken Martha--the sister of one of Susan's childhood friends. She flew Martha out to her California home and nurtured her through Marha's illness, trying to find her the best possible care.

And, of course, her friendships with her very caring housekeepers--and all the kindness she showed, have been mentioned.

And some of the the Carrollton, Georgia women got to know her and like her, as well.

Towards the end of her life, it seemed that she came to know Katherine Hepburn more, after Katherine came 'bearing healthy' baskets for her--and if Susan were shy, or a loner--maybe Katherine managed to break through that somewhat. But Susan was so ill by then.

I also read that she had a delightful, humourous day with Barabara Stanwyck at--was it the Getty museum? But she was really too ill soon afterward for it to grow into a close friendship, although they said they wished to get together again..

It would be rather sad, thought, if she never had the chance to trust and bond with a good woman friend, who she could just share anything with. It's a real blessing in life to have such a friend. (Not that good friendships with the men in our lives can't be just as special---but many woman just seem to find it easier to share the more personal parts of their lives with other women.)

At any rate---does anyone on the Board know anything about Susan's women friends--and if they were close friends?


Re: Susan and a question About Close Girlfriends

I have only read quotes from actresses who had worked with her and seemed to like her a lot. Thelma Ritter from WITH A SONG IN MY HEART, Agnes Moorehead who worked with her in UNTAMED and THE LOST MOMENT and Rita Moreno, who seemed to show up in some of Susan's films...(GARDEN OF EVIL and UNTAMED). MORENO also had a continuing role in the series OZ...and as a nun in the male prison. In one episode, she did pay a 'sort of tribute' toward...'the great Susan Hayward' when one of the homosexual prisoners, who was about to be executed, had wanted to go out, in life...looking like Susan. It was a 'sad' episode, for sure, on the show and I think Moreno gave a 'salute' (in her own way) toward someone she had 'admired..working with' in her career.

ALSO...I have seen 'many' times...that Ingrid Bergman always thought of Susan as her favorite actress...and Barbara Stanwyck suggested Susan to replace her in HEAT OF ANGER for the tv-film, which she did. (BOTH SUSAN AND BARBARA WERE BROOKLYN GALS).

I heard...on tv talk shows....more than once...Robert Wagner and John Gavin saying how great and gracious Susan was to work with. Wagner says he owes a lot to her..for helping him so very much, in his early career and their work on WITH A SONG IN MY HEART. Gavin came to her defense on THE MERV GRIFFIN SHOW when Merv was trying to 'bad mouth' Susan as being so difficult to work with and people not being close to her. Merv was only going on 'word of mouth' and John Gavin set him straight..and even got a bit upset..hearing the 'host' putting her down. He said something to the fact that he had never worked with 'any actress' in Hollywood...that had been as kind and wonderful to work with than Susan Hayward.

In many ways...I ADMIRE...SUSAN...for not being a 'nice-to=your=face' but a 'back-stabber' in the very next minute! Susan was honest (and maybe hard) to know...but I think IF SHE LIKED YOU...it was for...REAL. Living and knowing the 'phonies' in Hollywood for so many years, you learn to admire someone like Susan..who seemed to be 'real'...when showing her feelings and likes for people.

Katharine Hepburn was that way too. She held nothing back when liking or disliking people. You have to be 'very careful' in Hollywood, when you are 'on top'...on 'who' you find you can trust..and who would love to knock you off the ladder it took so long and hard..to climb to get...to 'the top'. Susan may have not been big friends with 'one and all'..but she guarded what she had worked hard to achieve!....

Re: Susan and a question About Close Girlfriends

Thank you so much Errol for your paragraphs on Rita Moreno and especially John Gavin on the Merv Griffin show. This is the first I have heard
about both events as we get very few American shows over here in the U.K.
So nice to read of John Gavin's support for Susan.


Re: Susan and a question About Close Girlfriends

I think Susan and Stanwyck could have been friends if Susan had
not become ill; they had similar backgrounds,and were classy dames-
no nonsense ladies. They were a great pair of tough Brooklyn "broads"!

Re: Susan and a question About Close Girlfriends

Errol, Hi!

Thanks a million for taking the time to fill in all the names I misssed! I did originally thnk of probing through each of my books on Susan, because I knew I missed a few friendships and acquaintances--like Thelma Ritter and Agnes Moorhead--both of who went clear out of my mind.

And cheers to Robert Wagner and John Gavin for getting the story straight on how Susan was so gracious and helpful when they worked with her. I always find too many of the general entertainment media press to prefer sleuthing down any personal 'dirt' on those who have become successful--rather than selling a few less 'rags' by celebrating those who have worked hard--and deservedly "made it"!

And at Susan H's time--heaven help the woman who stood up for her rights. Something in you must 'harden', when you are forever on the defense. I sometimes wonder how her life might have gone if she had been born 30 years later. The only thing I know for certain is that she would have been standing next to her son Tim, shivering away in freezing Montana rivers--and grinning as she matched him trout for trout!!

Thanks again, Errol, for that part of your brain that was obviously mapped out as "The Susan Section"!


P.S. And, ELAINE, thanks too for your observation, sharing mine, that Barbara Stanwyck might have been a good friend--and laughing mate--for Susan had Susan not become so increasingly ill.

Re: Susan and a question About Close Girlfriends

Yes....Lynn...the actress at that time had to be 'hard' in order to survive this business we call..'show'. One thing I always thought was a good example of standing up for yourself...was when Susan played Bette Davis' daughter in WHERE LOVE HAS GONE...and 'beat the socks off of Miss Davis'...by out-acting her and stealing every scene that the two had together. Of course you probably know the story of Bette taking off her 'wig' and throwing it at Susan on the last day of shooting and saying..."THANKS FOR..NOTHING!".

Susan had already 'out-acted' her in the remake of Bette's DARK VICTORY when Susan did STOLEN HOURS...so I think this was a 'double-whammey' from Susan to Bette for the things that were said, many years eariler by one critic that claimed Susan Hayward was a Bargain Basement Bette Davis.

Susan...showed the critic and 'the Bette'...that was NO WAY...correct!!...

Re: Susan and a question About Close Girlfriends

Trish...there was another talk show daytime host (a blonde woman and I can't think of her name now, because she didn't last too long) that did the same thing, trying to 'throw dirt' around that Susan was so bad to work with. This was one of many times, that Robert Wagner had come to her defense, on that show.
Wish I could remember her name!! But what would either of these 'talk show hosts' know about Susan or any other actor, unless they were actually involved int the shooting of a film? It used to drive me nuts, the way they could try to destroy certain actors careers with their 'unknown knowledge' of any of these things they were spewing on about!!....